6 Ways Work Environment Shapes Your Productivity (FS191)

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Episode 191: 6 Ways Work Environment Shapes Your Productivity (FS191)

You want to be more productive and motivated? Let’s talk about your work environment — and more specifically how your work environment shapes your productivity.

On the show today Corbett, Chase and Steph walk you through insights about how our work places effect our work practices.

This one’s especially helpful for those of us who work from home (and coffee shops and libraries and bars and…)


  • Separation — spacially and mentally. Steph, especially as a new mom, finds it necessary to separate the different roles and activities of her life. She has a lamp on her desk which, to her, is a physical “on/off” switch for when she’s working. If her husband sees that the desk lamp is on, he knows she’s in “work mode.” For Steph, family time is family time and work time is work time, the clear and tidy separation between the two is really important to her. She’s better for her work and for her family when she can keep those separate.
  • Changes — Corbett says “changing my environment is almost as important as the environment itself.” It’s the changing of the pattern that breaks him through the mundane into higher levels of creativity. Doing so can reinvigorate him for his work. “I don’t know why that is exactly, I just notice that it works.”
  • Organizing browser tabs — This might not seem like an “environment” thing, but for Steph it absolutely is. She’s one of those people that naturally has a bunch of tabs open at once, which can make her go crazy. So she has to stay disciplined to cull down those tabs JUST for what she’s doing this exact moment. It might sound trite, but this is something that Steph is constantly thinking about.
  • Ergonomics — Standing desk has been a big deal for Corbett. “Not sitting just helps me to be more likely to go out and do something physical like exercise.” Being able to move from sitting to standing, bringing a ROOST to the coffee shop, etc., helps him to have better days and even better nights (because when your back and neck aren’t in pain, turns out you can sleep better!).
  • Lighting — This is one of Chase’s pet peeves. He urges us all to pay attention to the lighting in the rooms we work. Soft, soothing lighting can put you in a different headspace than bright, blue light. Chase’s work environment is typically blacked out with sound blankets with soft, warm, diffused light coming from lots of small lights so there’s no harsh shadows being cast. Chase is also a weirdo. But that doesn’t mean that investigating your lighting and making some intentional changes won’t make an impact on your work environment!
  • Clutter — The tried and true advice about clutter is always this: don’t let there be clutter! When in doubt, clean your stuff, organize your space, put everything in it’s own location, because a peaceful desk means a peaceful head. But we want you to know that not everyone works like this. Chase, for example, doesn’t mind a little intentional scraps lying around that can help him stay creative; it keeps him from getting “too precious” about his work. (That said, we wouldn’t mind if he kept it a little tidy, for our sake.) So, notice if clutter has an effect on you one way or another and commit yourself accordingly.

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Claire Pelletreau

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